Dell Machines Unable to VPN Due to SmartByte Bloatware



  • SmartByte, a bit of bloatware or possibly malware - certainly closer to malware than not, is shipping by default on some Dell laptops and desktops. If you are doing a clean OS install as is best practice, this bloatware will be unknown to you. But if you keep the random stuff that ships with your machine, you may run into networking problems. SmartByte has been found by Cisco (and us, now that we know about it with clients) to break network connections and specifically has been found to cause VPNs to fail to connect.

    You'll need to disable, or better remove, or best do a proper, clean OS install, to get your machine able to network reliably.



  • Appears to have been shipping since around July, 2017.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Dell Machines Unable to VPN Due to SmartByte Bloatware:

    SmartByte, a bit of bloatware or possibly malware - certainly closer to malware than not, is shipping by default on some Dell laptops and desktops. If you are doing a clean OS install as is best practice, this bloatware will be unknown to you. But if you keep the random stuff that ships with your machine, you may run into networking problems. SmartByte has been found by Cisco (and us, now that we know about it with clients) to break network connections and specifically has been found to cause VPNs to fail to connect.

    You'll need to disable, or better remove, or best do a proper, clean OS install, to get your machine able to network reliably.

    None of my Dell Devices has ever come with this. Not even laptops bought through Amazon. In the past Dell and HP have had the Cisco AnnyConnect client but that is found more on home and retailers like Best Buy, Staples or such.

    Then again I don’t buy Dell Inspiron (Which are the ones with SmartByte for sure)



  • @dbeato said in Dell Machines Unable to VPN Due to SmartByte Bloatware:

    @scottalanmiller said in Dell Machines Unable to VPN Due to SmartByte Bloatware:

    SmartByte, a bit of bloatware or possibly malware - certainly closer to malware than not, is shipping by default on some Dell laptops and desktops. If you are doing a clean OS install as is best practice, this bloatware will be unknown to you. But if you keep the random stuff that ships with your machine, you may run into networking problems. SmartByte has been found by Cisco (and us, now that we know about it with clients) to break network connections and specifically has been found to cause VPNs to fail to connect.

    You'll need to disable, or better remove, or best do a proper, clean OS install, to get your machine able to network reliably.

    None of my Dell Devices has ever come with this. Not even laptops bought through Amazon. In the past Dell and HP have had the Cisco AnnyConnect client but that is found more on home and retailers like Best Buy, Staples or such.

    Then again I don’t buy Dell Inspiron (Which are the ones with SmartByte for sure)

    I never run into it because I would never run a machine without doing a proper OS install, you never know what is on there. But we ran into this (and I've been ranting about how people got into the process of not doing a clean install - dealing with that separately) just now because someone had a machine that didn't get installed and, of course, terrible bloatware problems.